Football transfer rumours: Arsenal to secure James Rodríguez for £3m?

Today’s fluff is living its best lifeWith transfer guru Sven Mislintat heading for the hills, Stan Kroenke slamming shut the war chest and £350,000-a-week man Mesut Özil marooned on his sofa, Arsenal fans have gone into meltdown mode. But wait! James Rodríguez could be about to jet in and calm the tensions.Colombia’s 2012 World Cup hero is in the second season of a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich but the Bundesliga champions are not too fussed about making the move permanent for £39.5m, and he would happily pack his bags for London if Arsenal can cover the remaining £3m of the £11.5m loan fee Bayern agreed with Real Madrid. Continue reading...

18-01-2019

'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.

18-01-2019

Megavalanche, footballers dancing badly and a perfect 10 | Classic YouTube

Also featuring a full-court buzzer beater, some dire defending and a 1956 lap round Le Mans (including oncoming traffic)1) Clear some time in your day, strap in and relive the 40 minutes of mayhem that was Megavalanche 2018 from the point of view of the winning rider, Damien Oton, who somehow stayed upright while whizzing down the French Alps on a bike … in the snow.2) There have been plenty of dancing footballers down the years but not many quite so enthusiastic as Raul Meireles in Lip Sync Portugal. Just look at those shoulders go. He’s got form from his playing days, mind. But spare a thought for poor Mo Salah. He would have probably preferred Sadio Mané to win African Footballer of the Year had he known he was going to be forced to dance on stage by Youssou N’Dour. And we’re not sure about Carlos Tevez’s moves in this video when he was in a band called Piola Vago. He looks as if he’s having much more fun than he ever had in the Chinese Super League, though. Sergio Agüero is another South American footballer whose body moves better on a pitch than in time to music. Here he is self consciously fronting a song about himself by the band Los Leales. Youri Djorkaeff takes his dancing far too seriously in this R&B effort. And Jürgen Klopp did a bit of dad-dancing recently too. We’ve seen worse. Continue reading...

18-01-2019

Maria Sharapova beats Caroline Wozniacki in Australian Open third round – as it happened

Sharapova wins 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to set up date with Ash BartyDefending champion out in third round upset 7.26am GMT Right, that’s probably all you need from me for now. I’m sure there’ll be more reaction and further AO goodness shortly when the Nadal vs De Minaur liveblog fires up. Until then, thank you for your company, and goodnight! 7.24am GMT Former British number one and Eurosport UK tennis expert Annabel Croft has had her say, and I agree with every word.“It was a huge win for Maria Sharapova and a thoroughly deserved one. She was the better player today, particularly in the latter stages of that final set - she had more firepower, more weaponry. She was braver, those second serves were quite outstanding and she took more risks. The fact she was able to push Wozniacki right behind the baseline on those second serves said it all. Maria went after it and it paid off today.“This really was a cracker of a match. In many ways, the ball striking between the two of them between Konta and Muguruza was even more mesmerising whereas this had dips and flows. I thought it was interesting to hear Sharapova say she hasn’t had much opportunity to play the top players in the last 2-3 years, but that it was she had trained for and it was rewarding to get that job done on the last point today. Maria had to work hard for that win today but I thought she was the better player.” Continue reading...

18-01-2019

Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

18-01-2019

Huddersfield’s sporting director follows David Wagner out of club

• Olaf Rebbe had good relationship with fellow German Wagner• Willy Sagnol and Jan Siewert among manager’s job candidatesHuddersfield have parted company with their sporting director, Olaf Rebbe, three days after manager David Wagner left by mutual consent. The Premier League’s bottom club thus have two significant vacancies as they search for an improbable escape route from relegation.Rebbe, who joined Huddersfield last May after being let go by Wolfsburg, would have had a say in the appointment of Wagner’s successor even if his role did not carry as much power as that of people with similar job titles at some clubs. He would have had a big influence over any transfers between now and the closure of the transfer window. Rebbe had a good relationship with Wagner and worked with his fellow German on player recruitment in addition to overseeing scouting, analysis, sports science and medicine. Huddersfield are keen to appoint a permanent successor to Wagner soon, with the under-23 coach, Mark Hudson, in temporary charge of the first team for Sunday’s Premier League match at home to Manchester City. Contenders for the position on a full-time basis include Willy Sagnol, formerly in charge of Bordeaux and Bayern Munich, and Jan Siewert, the 36-year-old head of Borussia Dortmund’s reserves. Wagner held the same job before being headhunted by Huddersfield in November 2015. Continue reading...

18-01-2019

Eddie Jones says Jack Nowell can become a forward for England

• Coach believes back will be ‘the new breed of player’• ‘There is no reason why you can’t play nine forwards’Eddie Jones has made the remarkable claim he may break from convention and select nine forwards in his England side. Jack Nowell is also now seen as an option at openside flanker for the Six Nations as Jones considers ripping up the traditional playbook, predicting the emergence of a “new breed of player” equally adept as a forward and a back. Related: England’s Six Nations squad has tools to be hard, direct and ruthless Continue reading...

18-01-2019

Bernard Tomic denies Lleyton Hewitt's claims of threats to his family

Player hits back after Davis Cup captain said he had received multiple threats from TomicBernard Tomic has denied he has ever threatened Lleyton Hewitt’s family as Australia’s ugly tennis feud continues to escalate, with Tomic on Friday hitting back at the Davis Cup captain’s sensational claims of blackmail and physical threats coming from his one-time Cup spearhead.“I have never threatened his family,” Tomic told News Corp Australia. “Nice, Lleyton. To think how low of a person you actually [are] and [it’s] why the Australian public never liked you. I got nothing to do with your family and I don’t care what’s wrong with you, you liar.” Continue reading...

18-01-2019

Masters 2019: Ding Junhui beats Luca Brecel 6-5 - best shots

Ding Junhui beats Luca Brecel in a thrilling match to set up a Masters semi-final against Ronnie O'Sullivan.

18-01-2019

Which football teams doctored their playing surface to hinder opponents? | The Knowledge

Plus: top-scoring defenders, non-league double delight and strange middle names. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Pep Guardiola says he didn’t leave the Etihad grass long against Liverpool. But which teams or managers have used this tactic to help their own side or hinder an opponent?” asks George Jones.Let’s start with the Poundland Machiavelli, former Cambridge and Lincoln innovator John Beck. Everyone in football knows about the infamous Beck and the stunts he used to pull at Cambridge. He brought in statisticians to lecture his players about how few passes were needed to score. He had the grass grown several inches long in the corners to hold up the ball when his players knocked it over the top. During the week they would rough up the pitch so anybody who tried to play football against them was at a disadvantage. “We just used to boot it upfield, so it didn’t really matter to us,” Steve Claridge recalls in his autobiography. Continue reading...

18-01-2019

El Loco, Huddersfield and trouble at Arsenal – Football Weekly Extra

Faye Carruthers, Barry Glendenning, Paolo Bandini and Lars Sivertsen talk Marcelo Bielsa, David Wagner’s Huddersfield exit, Gonzalo Higuaín’s mooted Chelsea move and Amy Lawrence joins us to talk all things ArsenalJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We look back at the last few days of football news and action, starting with the impromptu press briefing called by Marcelo Bielsa to address the morality and legality of his scouting methods. Continue reading...

18-01-2019